Post from Kelly Marra:
Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution that I thought wouldn’t stick because most people’s don’t. I was salivating over Alissa Cohen’s new book, Raw Food For Everyone. I’d been to Grezzo, I knew how good the food was, and I knew how good the recipes would be from Alissa’s new book.
One night while Rob, my husband, was out at his martial arts class I finally got around to watching Julie & Julia. I’d read the book a few years before and wanted to see the movie but I hate dragging Rob to the movies to see a chick flick.
I watched the movie with Raw Food for Everyone open on the table in front of me and I figured out how I could teach myself amazing raw food cooking tricks and save thousands of dollars by teaching myself. I’d just cook my way through every single recipe in Raw Food For Everyone, and like Julie, I’d do it in a year. I convinced myself that it would be easy. I would only have to make 300 recipes while Julie had over 500 to make. Easy enough, right?
The more I thought about it, the better the idea seemed and I started coming up with all sorts of reasons to follow this through to the end. One of my other big reasons is that I am a cookbook collector. I’ve got so many raw food cookbooks and yet I only ever make a handful of recipes from each book. What was the point of having all of those books around if I only made one or two recipes from each book? I needed to expand my horizons, try some new foods, and really get to know a cookbook for once.
I officially started Dec 1st and didn’t tell anyone about my plan. I like to start New Year’s resolutions early so that if they don’t stick by the end of December I can still come up with a good resolution just in time for the New Year. I didn’t put too much effort into that first month; I think I only made about 20 recipes. 20 x 12 = 240. If I stuck to 20 new recipes a month I’d fall way short of the 300 I was hoping to make in a year.
It took me 11 months to cook my way through all 300 of Alissa’s recipes in Raw Food For Everyone. With each new recipe I was learning something new. Alissa’s book is a great go-to book for easy gourmet dishes. Some recipes may seem daunting at first, but with just a little planning it’s simple to have a gourmet raw food meal every night.
I’d spend every Sunday morning with a pad of paper in one hand and Raw Food For Everyone in the other. It became my ritual to make my grocery list and menu and then to go grocery shopping. I’d start soaking nuts and seeds before leaving for the market so they’d be ready to go by the time I was. I’d spend Sunday afternoon in the kitchen, making as much as I could for the week ahead. From sauces to soups, crackers, cakes, cookies and ice cream, there’s a recipe for nearly everything you could possibly want to make in Alissa’s new book.
I feel like I’ve grown in my understanding of raw food preparation and techniques by cooking my way through Alissa’s book. I understand the principles behind what makes her food so great, fresh ingredients, amazing spices, some creativity and lots of love.
To me, raw and living foods are inspirational. Before I embarked on this crazy year-long project I’d often get into ruts where I wouldn’t know what to make. But thanks to Alissa’s book, I’m never at a loss now; it only takes flipping through the pages to come across a recipe that I truly loved or looking at the tantalizing photos I took of nearly every recipe from her book.
There is no other book that I would recommend more for delicious recipes than Alissa Cohen’s Raw Food For Everyone (other than her first book, Living on Live Food!). It’s the crown jewel of my raw food cookbook collection.